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    There must be an election coming.  After five years of making savage cuts to council budgets, and five years of fragmenting and privatising, George Osborne has waited until five weeks before this Parliament ends to endorse Labour’s plan to integrate the NHS and social care. We can all speculate about the reasons for his Road to Damascus-style conversion and have every right to be suspicious of the real reasons behind the rushed timetable unveiled this week. But the great thing about our political leaders in Greater Manchester is that they are always more interested in getting the best deal for […]
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    On Monday 22nd April Ed Miliband MP  launched a new independent commission which will help inform Labour’s Health and Care Policy Review. The new Independent Commission on Whole Person Care will be chaired by Sir John Oldham OBE, who is one of the country’s leading experts on integrated care. Up until last month Sir John was the National Clinical Lead for Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) and a member of the National Quality Board. He previously ran the Department of Health’s National Primary Care Development Team. Sir John has appointed a fantastic group of experts to be the members […]
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    Replacing the Health and Social Care Act Simple repeal of the reviled Health Act 2012 cannot be an end in itself.  What is needed is a clear vision of an alternative approach to make our care system better.  We need to repeal and replace. Legislation and structural changes to pursue some ideological end have been shown time and again not to work.  Imposing change on a reluctant and unmotivated workforce is unlikely to end well. New proposals must be subjected to discussion resulting in long term plan with the degree of support enjoyed by the 2000 NHS Plan. Once elected, […]
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    If Labour is elected in 2015 it will inherit a demoralised and financially challenged NHS and a social care system on the edge of collapse, with challenging economic background.  What should it do? Two things are clear – the NHS needs a period of stability with clear direction and social care needs more funding. Labour has already set out its vision for whole person care, the principles of which have wide support.  It has undertaken to consult widely before it commits to specific policies. When elected in 1997 Labour took some remedial actions to improve the parlous state of the […]
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      Professionals intuitively recognise “frail” older people as more shrinked, and slowly moving. This phenotype is beautifully described by the Finnish painter Helene Schjerfbeck in the self-portraits up to her ninth decade. Increasingly, there has been a welcome policy move in recognising older individuals as a really valuable part of Society. The emphasis should be on ‘living well’, even with comorbidities. Some have rightly attacked blaming the ‘woes’ of the NHS on “the ageing population”. The lack of definitive diagnostic criteria for ‘frail people’ through DSM or ICD has been a stumbling block, but professionals tend to recognise frail individuals […]
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    Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said today at the King’s Fund: Today I open Labour’s health and care policy review. For the first time in 20 years, our Party has the chance to rethink its health and care policy from first principles. Whatever your political views, it’s a big moment. It presents the chance to change the terms of the health and care debate. That is what One Nation Labour is setting out to do. For too long, it has been trapped on narrow ground, in technical debates about regulation, commissioning, competition. It is struggling to come up […]
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    Francis set out an excellent analysis but sees solutions through fixing the current system – more regulation to address the comprehensive failure of regulation.  It resonates with the mantra that more markets can address the fall out from the comprehensive failure of markets.  By implication it accepts that with better regulation the force of markets and competition unleashed by the Health and Social Care Act will bring the changes over time (a very long time). Our analysis for the SHA was that the 1948 model of the care system and the health/social care divide is fundamentally wrong and structural or […]
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